The Patron Saint of Unaccountable Muses

Poetry

She was throttled and hung

when hope died

for the second time.

No one stayed around for her

resurrection, no one

watched her catch a crow mid

flight, stick two fingers down

its throat and pop her eyeball

out of its broken beak.

Last I heard she moved

into an alley off Capitol Street.

She feeds the stray cats slightly

green slices off her right

arm and passes out cigarettes

to the working girls.

The first serious poem I ever wrote

Poetry

When the sun peers into the sea

It doesn’t see itself at first

But when the reflection is clear

The sun is riding on the waves.

(So I wrote that in 5th grade and I’m still kinda proud of it even though reflections need light or whatever and scientifically it doesn’t make any sense BUT there’s this weird place where writing takes you where things don’t have to make sense to make you feel good.)

Ulysses the Cat

Lupercalia, Poetry

Stretched in the sunlight

crowning Calypso’s shore

the big cat dozed,

small blue crabs drown

in a capsized silver urn, cream

filled and slopping beside him.

Why long for plump

tuna steak and cheesecake

crumbs when Apollo

scratches behind your ears

and no storm clouds

threaten tender olive saplings

with shaking? That

rural, stone hearth

plucked from the heart

of the hill your paws pounded

daily is miles away.

Waves lick gingerly

against the pebbly shore

the lambent royal blue of

Penelope’s summer dress.

He is still listless as

he is lifted up by

roughened driftwood hands

and tossed back into the sea.

Things Tourists Love

Lupercalia, Poetry

1. The city went dark, bruised. First pale green at the edges then purple with spots of red where blood burst from the capillary confine and then darker, the black of abused flesh. Flesh left alive to suffer more.

2. We danced in the dust under bare boughs, between the bony cypress knees.

3. Fear is a kind of god, maybe even the oldest god. Fear can make of us one tasty meal despite all the hard work our parents put into the lies they whispered over our cribs about the terrible state of our bodies to gods who only want to eat the most beautiful of children.

4. Some people think vultures are overindulgent. I think they’re just really, really hungry. Their wings choke the sky, fill the atmosphere with feathers but their bellies are never full. One day they’ll eat the world.

5. A voice from the hollow, bound to fingertips of those who reach through the air and feel for what is hiding there.

6. The sunset is beautiful like a jellyfish is beautiful and it kills everything it touches, slowly, with diaphanous, poisonous rays that float through the sky like arms extending for a cruel embrace.